Source: Zanu PF mourns ‘harassing machine’ Mhiripiri – NewsDay Zimbabwe March 27, 2017
FEARED Manicaland Zanu PF provincial secretary for production and labour Nathaniel Mhiripiri, who was found dead at his farm in Nyazura with a bullet lodged in his head last week, has been described as the ruling party’s “harassing machine.”
BY KENNETH NYANGANI
The notorious Mhiripiri, popularly known as “Mhizha” in Makoni district, was buried at his Abeid Farm in Nyazura leaving a legacy of violence and lawlessness that apparently the ruling party is proud of, according to Zanu PF bigwigs who attended the funeral.
Manicaland Provincial Affairs minister Mandiitawepi Chimene (pictured) said Mhiripiri was declared a provincial hero despite misgivings from other quarters. Chimene said Mhiripiri was a law unto himself.
“I received many calls and I said that I don’t have powers to accord Mhiripiri’s hero status. I wanted to hear what you would say about him. He was our harassing machine, discipline and indiscipline was more like the same to him, he was always the judge in everything,” Chimene said.
“Let’s bury certain things, we are a very big district (Makoni), (and) we should not allow influence from outside. People said a lot of things about Mhiripiri, but I am happy that his district stood with him and he was given the hero status with all negative influence (sic).”
Mhiripiri was also infamous for disrupting meetings where he felt his authority or that of Zanu PF was not being respected, including going to the extent of burning copies of private newspapers critical of the government. He became an untouchable with reported protection from powerful politicians and declared Makoni a no-go area for opposition parties.
Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa said Mhiripiri constantly broke the law but got away with it.
“He was protector of the weak, he was the vendors’ patron in Rusape. Yes, we can talk of respecting law, but this was nothing to him (Mhiripiri), he always took matters into his hands, he was lawlessness (personified),” Chinamasa said. Mhiripiri turned into the scourge of opposition supporters in Makoni and surrounding districts allegedly with support from former Zanu PF stalwart Didymus Mutasa. Mutasa expressed sorrow at Mhiripiri’s demise, but refused to be drawn into discussing their relationship before the former Cabinet minister’s expulsion from Zanu PF in 2014.